Credit: Shachaf Polakow/

Reflections on JVP-Tucson’s cross-border solidarity seder

On April 29th 2016, Jewish Voice for Peace – Tucson hosted, along with local human rights organizations and activists, the first ever binational, bilingual Passover solidarity seder on both sides of the U.S./Mexico border in Nogales. Into the traditional seder they incorporated modern stories of oppression, struggle, exodus, and liberation, and created a new bilingual Haggadah that centers stories of migration struggles and cross-border solidarity.

“We are mindful of our place as strangers in the border region: this is Tohono O’odham land. We participate in ongoing struggles here as we consider the ongoing oppression and struggle in Palestine. Through solidarity we recognize these struggles are connected. Together we shall turn away from oppression, welcoming those whose own exodus brings them through the desert.” ~JVP Tucson bilingual Haggadah


On Friday evening, 13 participants on the U.S. side and 32 on the Mexican side of the border joined together for a Passover ceremony along the border wall near the spot where 16-year-old Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez was killed by a hail of bullets through the border wall by a U.S. Border Patrol agent in 2012. Members of Jose Antonio’s family attended the seder, and his uncle Raul Cuen is interviewed in the video about the seder.

You can download the bilingual Haggadah created especially for this cross-border seder here.

Watch the webinar on intersectional border solidarity work with leaders of the New Sanctuary Movement and JVP here.

To get in touch with JVP-Tucson leaders, email: and visit the JVP-Tucson Facebook page.

Read on for reflections about the seder from JVP members Deborah Maayan and Laurie Melrood, and Sarah Roberts from the Southern Arizona BDS Network.